The story of Alexander By Chris Print
Birth Stories - Premature Birth Stories
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 10:45
Alexander is our miracle baby. After 7 very long years of infertility, we conceived Alex on our 7th Anniversary (October 97). Words can not describe our excited we both were, and family was just as happy. The first several weeks were stressful, as this was our first pregnancy. I had some spotting the last week of the first month, so we went for an ultrasound to see what was going on... Everything was fine, it appeared to the OB that the placenta had shifted and that was what caused the bleeding, but our little man was safe and sound, and just a small blob on the screen. Three weeks later, back to the U/S dept for another exam, more spotting.. Again, everything was fine. We tried to relax, however I had all day "morning sickness". The holidays came and went and it appeared that we were in for some smooth sailing the rest of the pregnancy. At 12 weeks we went in for a routine U/S and while we were there, the U/S tech was very quiet, she asked us to stay in the room while the doctor looked at the pictures. I started to get nervous when the doctor himself came in and tried to snow me with "I just want to double check a couple of things" As the wand traveled over my somewhat swollen abdomen, I could see the that the heart beat was still there and it appeared to me that the baby was ok. That's when they dropped the bomb... My cervix was starting to dilate internally, and if I were to go home at that point, I would miscarry. Scared to death and crying, we waited for the high risk OB to be called into the department to discuss our options. We only had one. They would bring me upstairs and do emergency surgery to put a stitch in my cervix and hopefully keep the pregnancy for as long as we can. In other words, I would be standing on my head for the rest of my pregnancy. All I could say was "Save my baby". It wasn't an easy task for the Dr.'s. ( Dr. Baker and Dr. Lauria) When I got the birthing pavillion, I changed into a hospital gown, Dr. Baker checked my cervix, and I hadn't started to dilate externally yet and that was a good sign. 20 minutes later as they wheeled me into the OR, they discovered that I was 2 cm dilated and they could see the amniotic sac. I had a quick epidural and they quite litterally stood me on my head and sewed my cervix shut. From that day on, the only time I could get out of bed was to use the bathroom, and once a day I could take a shower. Things went well after the surgery, they let me go home the next day and we went along for about a month with no problems. They checked my cervix once a week to make sure that the stitch was holding and that things were going ok with the baby. Mentally, I was a mess, but I had to be strong for the baby. My husband was a Saint during the whole process, and he was just as nervous and scared as I was. Week 16, I am lying in the doctors office on the table, Dr. Baker prepares to do and exam and finds that she can see the amniotic sac, she doesn't give me any chance to argue, and admits me to the hospital, under no circumstances can I get out of bed, period. So for the next 11 weeks I lay in bed, standing on my head waiting. Every day, we go through the same routine, monitor for contractions, listen to the baby and wait. On day 3 of the hospital stay, I go into labor. They are able to get it stopped with Mag Sulfate, however I was very ill with this medicine, and the poor nursing director who's office was next door to my room froze to death because I had the heat turned off (It was March in New England) After three days of Mag Sulfate, we opted to try a turbutaline pump, which had been very successful in other women in early labor.

After the first scare of labor, we sailed slowly through the next 10 weeks, once week I got wheeled down to Ultrasound to see the progress of our little one. On gestational week 20, we decided that we wanted to know the sex, and that was when we found out it was boy. It still amazes me how much you can love someone that you have never met or seen other than on a little black and white tv screen.

May 13th 1998, It's strange for me to think that it's spring already, and I have another 10 weeks before this little creature is suppose to come into this world. The doctors are saying that if I can hold off another 2 weeks (32 weeks) that they will just let me go into labor and deliver. Well, my little man didn't want to wait. I went into labor at 3 in the afternoon, we tried several doses of Mag Sulfate in large quantities and there was just no stopping the labor this time. It was 9:30 at night, and the contractions were 3 minutes apart and really strong, so the doctor opted to cut my cerclage stitch and up the mag sulfate as a last ditch effort to stop it. As the stitch was cut I went from 2.5 cm to 5 cm - at that point we knew there was no turning back... at 10:30 the doctor broke my water, and the pace picked up quickly.

It is the usual practice of the medical center where I was to have premature babies delivered in what they call the "Swing Room". Special room that has an immediate access to the neonatal resucitation room and the intensive care nursery. The trip from my room to the swing room was approx 100 yards. When I left my room I was 5 cm... when we got to the swing room, I was at 8. This baby wasn't fooling around, he wanted out. Once in the swing room, things happened fairly quickly, I opted for no drugs, my concern was the baby, I knew he was going to have a difficult start and I didn't want to compound things with drugs that could effect him. My contractions were very strong, but my cervix wasn't cooperating, I was still only dilated to 8.5 cm - but I had to push. The doctors kept trying to make me wait, but my body knew it was time. 2 pushes later, at 11:45 pm Alexander made his entry into the world, 10 weeks early weighing in at 2 pounds 14 ounces and 15 inches long. He was perfect. I could hear him crying in the neonatal room, and from the first cry, I knew he was ok.

They brought him back into the room so that I could see him, and then he went to the nursery. He never needed assistance breathing, and was named the "prince" of the ICN. I was sewn up, even though he was only 2 pounds, he tore my cervix when he made is exit. They then wheeled me to the nursery to see him. I got to hold him for about 15 minutes and then I had to go back to my room. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do in my life, I didn't want to leave him alone. But after giving birth and not having sat upright since the ninth of February, I decided not to argue. We spent 5 weeks in the nursery and brought him home before his actual due date of July 23rd. Now 18 months later, I can't wait to have a second child. Even if we have to do the same thing all over again, I want Alexander to have a sibling.

If you want to see Pictures of Alexander from birth to present, please stop by our homestead..

Thanks for letting me share this unusual, but learning experience.